Best in class urban downtowns have a number of things in common. Risk, collaboration, respectful debate, and bold investment are amongst the top characteristics, brought together by concrete plans that are owned collaboratively by businesses, municipalities, private sector leaders, and the community at large. They are also built on an important truth - that downtowns are a key economic engine of growing urban cities.
For the past decade, we’ve witnessed and celebrated the success of ambitious, forward-looking investments in our downtown. Budweiser Gardens, Covent Garden Market and the Central Library are chief among them.
Today, thanks to the commitment and bold vision of businesses, municipal leaders and private investors, we’re entering a new era of growth in our downtown, punctuated by the opening of Fanshawe College’s second downtown campus, and the first two transformed blocks of the Dundas Place flex-street.
As we complete the second full year of our 2016-2020 strategic plan, we are excited to report on the many objectives - achieved or underway - that contribute to downtown’s growth and momentum. The following pages celebrate progress on four strategic goals:
They also celebrate and acknowledge the many business owners, champions and community partners who have contributed tremendous things to our growth and momentum.
This place is buzzing and authentic. It’s growing and evolving. And it’s creative and inclusive in the most important ways.
Best of all, this place is ours. And we’re building it together.
Chair, LDBA Board of Directors
CEO and General Manager
As we celebrate 2018 and move into another successful year, we wanted to take a look back to the beginning of our BIA, where we’ve been, and where our momentum is taking us.
Placemaking is about people. It’s about creating beautiful, vibrant and inclusive spaces that a diversity of people choose to spend time in and make their own, when they’re not at work or home. This year, we boosted visitor numbers and interactions with the many unique sights, spaces and faces of our downtown through activations, building and streetscape improvements, and overall beautification.
The success of our downtown affects all Londoners. And, community-wide decisions and investments affect the prosperity of our members. Making sure the voices of downtown businesses are heard has always been a key strategic priority for Downtown London, and this year was no different.
Driving feet on the street, people in seats, and cash in tills has long been a foundation of our work. And our long game is just as important - to firmly position the downtown as a vibrant, safe and welcoming centre of culture, commerce and creativity, and to activate the champions who can spread this message within and beyond our city borders. This year, we continued our focus on positioning and destination marketing with an eye to strategic business recruitment.
Traditional BIAs are business boosters and beautification agents. Modern BIAs are economic developers, culture promoters and holistic neighbourhood builders. Downtown London is both. We’re proud, this year and every year, to bring focus to our downtown’s role as a regional economic, social and cultural driver.